New Leaf…stay tuned

OK.     Enough time has been wasted on the agonizing and agonistic misadventures of the United States Government (or lack thereof.)    I do hope to live long enough to ingrain some of the History of the World Under Trump into my DNA.   Right, I’m not even sure that is possible, about the DNA that is, but the truth is that until about twenty years ago I was not even aware of such a thing.       Science was never my bag,  although my interests and obsessions lie as much with clouds and rocks, bugs and sea creatures, as any one.

A basic interest in Geneology is in fact part of my basic make-up, due largely if not mainly to my Dad’s Mom, my Grandmother Lillian Turney Piper.    The font of knowledge or awareness of our family origins was argueably Lillian’s mother, Ann Avann Turney, of Tenterton, England.      OK, enough with the name-dropping.

We lived with the aforementioned forebears until I was three, so direct influence of Great Grandma Ann was by osmosis, so to speak.   She no doubt talked with me a lot about family affairs.  She also kept personal diaries after the age of about 80, when she was forced to curtail her former active social life and retreat to her home.   There she wrote her faithful diary entries…and discussed life and the world with visitors and family.    She read daily newspapers and other periodicals, and often wrote and received personal letters.

Visitors included members of social clubs, and church membership.   GG Ann was into all sorts of world activities, and wrote poetry.   Yes…a poet.   There was no WordPress then, of course, no computers or email.   The telephone was tied to the wall with a cord, and used only in turn with other people on the line (of course they listened in) so one just stated their business and got off the phone.    No texting…no cell phones.

GG Ann was keenly interested, and involved to whatever possible extent, in the WCTU: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union.   Their target—Alcohol.     I wish that here would follow exciting tales about women in long dresses and big fancy hats smashing bars and bottles with axes.   Or at least, rolling pins.     I have no details about GG Ann’s adventures with the WCTU, although there are extant examples of her original poetry and quotations clipped from newspapers.

To get back to my new pursuit…as I said earlier, my preoccupation with the United States government (or lack thereof,) only grows by the hour, and has no practical application to my personal blog.    My associates, followers, correspondents, critics…mostly are on the same political page wherever they are in our world.   Common sense and questionable judgement urges me to stay out of the comment sections of various venues, on the premise that everyone has an opinion and anything I say they will ignore, take offense, or call me names…which hurts my feelings.    Preaching to the choir has no direct result except winks and thumbs-ups…and arguing with the posters, trolls or not, is counterproductive and only makes me mad.

This morning a blogger pal reposted an article from a newspaper that mentions the Koch Brothers and hitherto emphasized family (group?) The Mercers.   I know who the Koch Brothers are…friends of Trump, I think…but the Mercers?   Hmmm, I have decided to find out who these people are, what they are up to, and—if they are related to ME.     GG Ann’s grandmother was a Mary Mercer… so that’s my new preoccupation.   (stay tuned)

 

 

Contemplating the Overhead

(Originally published in Sometimes, 2016)

Who has never stared at a ceiling,
stark and unobtrusive, high above.
Waiting on the examination table,
A pattern of plaster, geometric or concentric
or randomness in tile squares…
in the eye unique to the beholder:
Faces and road maps, decorative design..
Dozing off while waiting for
examination of unseen mysteries,
matters of distracted concern
existing anonymously within
a rounded belly, something enlarged,
a broken bone peeking shyly out
to see air and light… foreign and out-of-place.
To contemplate anomalies without purpose,
pictures not there—right before our eyes.
Improbable, impossible creatures,
staring down on the same…unknown,
unrecognized, without meaning…
open for inspection under the sheet
or the silly inadequate gown.
The very distraction of these glyphs
on the ceiling have reason after all—
to occupy and entertain
a mind with nothing else to do
but wait and wonder, as patterns emerge
a mundane excursion into the
feeling that this may be— The Truth After All…

© Sometimes, 2016

Don’t Put Anything Near The 2 Windows re-blogged from “Zombies Ate My Brains”

Here’s a great blog that just came to my attention…different and delightful!    The photos are remarkable.   Thanks for the implied permission to Re-Blog, Maggie Wilson…

 

The Zombies Ate My Brains

When we were at Florence’s last week, I didn’t take pictures of the interior. Another time, perhaps.

However, I did see some rustic outbuildings that caught my eye. She gave me a very short tour of the grounds. Unfortunately the black flies descended and drove her indoors.

Now that means I not only would like permission to document the original dining and living rooms, I need to get the answer to this note that I found on the barn door:

Don’t Put Anything Near the 2 Windows… Like That Dresser

Here’s what else I found that fills the bill for Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Also, a couple of drive sheds and an ore house.

Finally, I couldn’t resist a non-door shot. Florence was telling us how she helped apply the preservative to the wooden shakes that cover her house.

***   ***   ***

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo…

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Historiography at work

Historiography is the study of History.    It was one of my favorite mandatory seminars as a grad student at the University of Akron.

One of friends and cohorts here in Blog Land, raised a very interesting point in  a comment on how the Historians of 100 years from now would treat the scenario in rage now of the Great Republican Plan to Obliterate the Obama Presidency.    Obviously all of us reading this will have no interaction whatsoever in the future century.   Who knows how the History of our age will be preserved, or how it will be reported to future generations.    The History of the Present hasn’t happened yet.

The Trump-Obama factionalism is too multi-faceted to tackle here.   However, the question is a good one, and leads me to ponder the basic differences between Now and Then…meaning past and future coverage of historical events.     There can be two designations here: Paper and Digital.

The most glaring difference is that what was written, published, in real books is that they were permanent.   Not necessarily the absolute authoritative sources on a given subject, but through a sort of consensus of opinions and research, and yes credentials.   In order to reach a thesis statement for a given publication, the writer presented his or her own ideas….something new, an alternate position.   There are always at least two sides to any proposition.

Here is a proposal that when it comes to Digital History, that which is presented over the internet by countless diverse sources, the information comes across only as permanent as the print-out a student or proponent, or indeed, opposition commentator, understands—or prefers to present as Truth or Falsehood—to their respective readership at any given time.

Digital History is much easier to alter, re-write, or inadvertently  distort  because of its fluidity…never permanent, always subject to a myriad of changes.    We see reports on the internet news channels… a statement made by an anchor person on CNN or Fox, MSNBC, BBC…at a given hour—that never airs again.

No one in their right mind for long will be able to watch Cable News constantly to keep up absolutely on the stream of information.    Remember when the internet was actually referred to as the Information Highway?   That was back in the 1980s, when major newspapers made the change from individual typewriters to the chaotic stream of News-all-the-Time.   Up-to-date means “constantly changing,” which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

 

Newcomers Posing for Pics

 

DSC09558
First seen as an anonymous “red blur.”   
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I’ll call it the Red Blur Rose.     There was a bright red Cardinal that exited the tree when he saw me before I saw him.   No time for the camera.

 

DSC09451
love Daisies….
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but they are prolific and persistent…off the “chop” list though until the blooms are finished.
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The Winterberry I call Gentleman Jim
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recognize this tree?
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unidentified perennial
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Clematis
lily buds
Future Day Lilies
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The obligatory Cat

 

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I swear this Lantana was originally pink.  

 

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Tall Ageratum
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Dad’s Plant lives in the house all winter. A remembrance from my ex’s funeral in 2001.

the dance of the miscreants, a fairy-tale?

… and all of the miscreants danced in a ring
singing and clapping and everything.

Chicken Little handed out cups with holes in the bottoms…
and urged everyone to please help themselves.

Uncle Paul smirked and grinned, and dreamed
when he slept, of clever tricks and double crosses.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, sent out engraved linen notes
that read: “Be here or else—but mind what you say.”

The Ice Queen giggled and tried to look cool,
as she whispered to the boss “you’re starting to melt.”

The King beamed and preened to adoring crowds
who cheered as he told them: “You all are invisible to me!”

The Witch of the Beltway cackled with glee:
“Listen to me!   What do I say?  What do I mean?”

…and the Tall Man looked down on everyone
until he tripped and came crashing down…

Topsy Turvey turned and spun… telling tales and amazing everyone.
“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

Mr. Dowdy Pudding frumped and preened,
beady eyes glistening with malice and mildew.

It’s all a cruel joke intended to wound—impossible tricks every day:
the Media chatters and makes up titillating tales.

The Wise Women lecture and try to make sense
while the Old White Men tell them “sit down and shut up.”

The Lawyers, in turn get their say…don’t let facts in the way!
Believe nothing you hear—nor even what you say!

…and all of the miscreants danced in a ring
singing and clapping and everything.

©Sometimes, 2017

 

clouds and memories, a poem

jet trails2

Draw me gently to your chest
my heart will linger there;
across the ages, along time’s trails,
the memories ever return.

Wait for me!—oh, wait for me!
the plaintive echo pleads.
When least expected, awakening
to memories in words of a poem.

Oh tell me—where do they dwell?
Among the dreams and reveries
apart from the wrack of reality
forever a blend of torture and joy.

©Sometimes, 2017

a glimpse of life…passing by (Daily Post Entry: Blur)

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/out-of-focus/”>Focus</a&gt;

village blur a glimpse of life.JPG

above is a shot taken years ago, in early 1980s, through the window of a van traveling at high speed along a rural road in Yucatan, near the archeological site of Chichén Itza, Mexico.     At first glance it is just a ruined photo, which is often what an amateur photographer gets when shooting on-the-fly from a grimy vehicle window, speeding down a road.    However, on close inspection, the camera apparently focused automatically on the village scene in a clearing beyond the surrounding jungle and captured this candid scene.   (Cropped close-up image below.)   Image by Robert Dreger, ©Sometimes 2017.

village-blur-a-glimpse-of-life-e1497725886780 CROP

 

 

Math is a human language (re-blogged from Simona Prilogan)

Math Time! I love math problems, but rarely solve them. The short video is interesting, think you will like it. 🙂   Sometimes the answer is right on the edge of my brain, although haven’t mastered the technique of really “getting it.”

 

While there is life, there is hope!

1407998735 Source photo: Google Images 

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let’s not over-react (yeah, right…)

Scary news out of Virginia.    Too bad the shooter is dead…why is this always the case?   These people who kill other people are always a mystery, and it would be interesting and helpful to be able to hear what they have to say.   Normally such comments are suppressed, except for a shouted out inanity in a courtroom, or incoherent suicide note.

My old Journalist Hat comes out of the closet when some of these events occur, and too often the questions that I would ask… if I were doing the asking…never get asked.       What would these shooters say?    One would think that a perpetrator of such a criminal act albeit stupid and cruel,  probably pointless, would have something to say.    Oh, right, it is more than likely that if left to speak without restrictions…or to explain their motivation or explanation.

What goes through one’s mind when actually taking a rifle and shooting into an area of innocent people?     Is it madness that drives the crime?   Are they making a statement?   Thinking that they are proving a point?     Attempting to set the stage for some kind of mad-crowd riot?   Calling for confiscation of guns that kill people—or emphasizing the “right to bear arms?”

Unfortunately it is unlikely that we will ever know the shooter’s rationale for what he did this morning.   What we will hear, is speculation, interpretation, opinionated points of view…over and over.   The original account of what happened will be related in sound-bites and rambled on and on in talk shows, CNN Commenters assisting the rhetoric by presenting assorted factions’ “talking points” for incessant rehashing.      Sadly—the whole incident is like a  made-for-TV political presentation—complete with Party Politics, and frought with grandstanding and posturing.

This can’t be allowed to warp into a distraction from the investigations unfolding in Washington now.     How could it be more obvious that the honest and honorable committee members must put the Russia investigation on the fast track NOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Debate, a re-blog

Yes, folks, the Cavs did come in second last night—they can’t win them all, right?   We here in Cleveland tend to be dogged fans of our sports teams…which is to our credit. It is rare that I even read sports columns…let alone read them twice and then repost them on my own blog. But here goes. Thanks for the re-blog MacWilsonOne!

Media and Consulting Solutions

With the Golden State Warriors on the brink of winning the 2017 NBA Finals, there is one question I keep hearing. Is it fair to have so much fire-power on one team? Let’s not deal with the “what-ifs” and stick to the facts. The facts are Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are on the same team. They are up 3-0 on a Cleveland Cavaliers team with arguably the best player in the world playing for them, who is complimented quite nicely by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. The Golden State Warriors won 73 games last season, surpassing my Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history, and didn’t win the championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers did, mounting a historic comeback in the process. With all the facts in place, I FULLY understand that people will still ONLY understand from their level of perception.

So understand this…

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Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

For word lovers everywhere, there is a gift that keeps on giving, namely the Dictionary. Enjoyed this post by author Deborah Lee Luskin…thanks for the permission to re-blog.

Live to Write - Write to Live

Book Review of Word by Word Word By Word by Kory Stamper

“Language is one of the few common experiences humanity has.”

So begins the Preface to Kory Stamper’s wonderful memoir, Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.

Hanging on Stamper’s personal narrative about how she came to be a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and what that work is like is the entertaining history of the English words with which humans have recorded their knowledge, experience, beliefs and discoveries. This discussion of words also includes a discussion of linguistic prejudice, that attitude that self-appointed grammar police cop when someone doesn’t follow their[1]* prescribed rules.

You’d be correct if you imagined that dictionary editors spend eight hours a day in silent study, but you’d be dead wrong if for a moment you thought that reading about it would be boring.

Stamper writes with attitude.

That attitude arises from the little thought any normal person…

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to die in satin…reposted entry from 2016

This poem I wrote last year seems an appropriate companion with one I published this morning.  I love Wordles, and MLMM always is one of my favorite sites.   Thanks again MLMM!

This is a Wordle for Special Edition “Touch” MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie, August 29, 2016 Challenge.   https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/wordle-special-addition-touch-august-29th-2016/#respond
This is not my usual fare, but here is the short vignette that I wrote using many, if not all, of the Wordle words given for the challenge.

to die in Satin…

Feverish now, thrashing among sodden sheets
grown bristly and coarse, soaked with salty tears
in a tangible horror of torturous linen…
no smoothing touch of pumice could relieve,
to sharply barbed cloth…once satiny to the touch…
The dying man’s angular body wracked with agony,
viscous sweat turning waxy his once swarthy skin
as rigidity overcame and replaced malleability.
“Oh!  Let me die!” he entreated those who
could do nothing else.

©Sometimes, 2016